Dan Bissonnette | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Dan Bissonnette 
Member since Aug 6, 2014



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Re: “Goddard's Commencement Speaker Is Controversial Mumia Abu-Jamal


"Accused" cop killer? How about *convicted* cop killer?

17 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 10/02/2014 at 8:57 PM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

Walt. Are you daft? The hospital broke ground for the Shepardson building / wing in *1959*, almost at the same moment when Bernie Sanders was graduating from *high school*. What negative effect a graduating student from Brooklyn could have on the construction of the Shepardson building is utterly lost on me.

He wasn't "our foppish leader" at that point. He was running high-school track.


"We dont have a dedicated emergency room..."

We don't? I'm pretty sure Fletcher-Allen has one of the best EDs in the northeast United States. I guess you musta missed that somehow. This will come as news to the EMTs.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/11/2014 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

A point that cries out to be made is the effect the Christina Schumacher case might have had on policy at Fletcher-Allen. If you will recall, Schumacher's doctors were so alarmed by ... well, we don't know what alarmed them, due to HIPAA restrictions on divulging patient information ... that they moved heaven and earth to keep her under treatment. She finally was discharged after taking the matter to court.

Now comes Cheryl Hanna, and Fletcher-Allen shows her the door the moment she expresses a wish to go home. And she promptly kills herself.

In both cases, the news media at least suggested (the Free Press went nuts over the Christina Schumacher case...) that Fletcher-Allen had made an error; first to incarcerate a patient because they feared (something) and then allowing a patient to go home and kill herself. And, in both cases, the staff at Fletcher-Allen were completely unable to defend themselves against the innuendo because HIPAA regulations forbid them from even discussing in general terms the condition of a patient.

This seems perilously close to a, "damned if you do, damned if you don't" state of affairs.

I think we need to ask ourselves the obvious question; if your son or daughter goes to the hospital for severe depression, and the doctors think they're a danger to themselves, do you want to allow those doctors the power to sequester the patient for treatment? Or should the policy be that the patient just walks out anytime they want?

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/11/2014 at 7:53 AM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

Bernie Sanders as History's Greatest Monster?!?! Rave on!

5 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/10/2014 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

There's so much wrong with the various theories about "waiting periods" and "background checks" that I hardly know where to begin.

First, denying Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to a person with "recent history of treatment for mental illness." What - *exactly* - does "recent history of treatment for mental illness" mean? Does it mean that someone who goes to a psychiatrist for help coping with job-related stress or anxiety is denied their 2nd Amendment rights? I mean, I don't think even psychiatrists could possibly agree on what a "recent history of treatment for mental illness" actually is. Going to a psychologist for marriage counseling? Or to quit smoking?

Second, if someone knows that going anywhere near a psychiatrist is going to mean a lifelong ban (what does "recent" mean, *exactly*...) on a Constitutional right, are they going to go down that road? I certainly wouldn't.

Thirdly, firearms are legitimate means of personal protection. Is a gunshop owner to tell a woman who's covered with bruises, holding a Temporary Restraining Order against the boyfriend who lumped up on her, and in terror for her life, "OK, hope he doesn't come for you with a baseball bat tonight, because you can't have that 9mm until Thursday. Good luck!"

Unfortunately, the Hanna case is one of those intractable issues that just has no good solution. We can't deny her her Constitutional rights - temporarily or permanently. And we can't imprison her because some doctor imagines she's a suicide risk. To put it bluntly, people have the right to kill themselves, and there's really very little we can do about it.

20 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/07/2014 at 6:42 PM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

It's useless to puff and blow about "waiting periods" for gun purchases, or whine about "background checks," but the simple facts are that someone blowing their brains out on Tuesday is just as tragic as the same outcome on Monday. Add this to the fact that Hanna would - unless she was a felon or an *adjudicated* mental patient - certainly have passed the background check, and we have nothing more than the usual formula for the typically leftist anti-gun "me-feel-good-I-done-something" rhetoric that will do absolutely nothing about anything.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/07/2014 at 5:32 PM

Re: “Cheryl Hanna's Suicide Confirms Mental Health Problems in Vermont

Time out. The "staff *decided* to release her?" Or was she released AMA - Against Medical Advice?

I mean, let's all stipulate that, absent a court ruling, a patient cannot be treated or held against their will. This is the law.

"She wanted to go home, and staff decided to release her on Friday, July 25, for the weekend."

What other "decision" was possible? If she wanted to go home, she could go home - as could any other patient anywhere in a community hospital. Period. Full stop. End of story. My point is that the story reads as though the staff at Fletcher-Allen said, "Yeah, absolutely, you're good to go." This is almost certainly complete nonsense.

Hanna *elected* to remove herself from treatment, and the Fletcher-Allen staff had nothing to say about it.

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dan Bissonnette on 08/06/2014 at 10:08 PM

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